Former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe has narrated the reasons behind his withdrawal from 2023 presidential race and his decision to support the former governor of Anambra State, Dr Peter Obi.
Okupe at a press conference in Abeokuta disclosed his decision was not unconnected with the way and manner the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is handling the issue of zoning.
The former presidential aspirant thereby declared his support for Obi and urged the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike; Chief Dele Momodu and Senator Anyim to equally throw their weight behind Obi.
Okupe who said he conceded the presidential seat to the South-East geo-political zone of the country, based on the principle of fairness and integrity that the Yoruba people are known for,added added that he was not fanning embers of division amongst the aspirants by his action, rather lightening the torch of unity by establishing political stability.
Okupe said he had consulted widely with some stakeholders in the South-West zone and had come to the conclusion to toe the path of truth and justice by supporting the best “presidential aspirant not only in the South East but Nigeria as a whole.”
“It is clear to me that those at the helm of affairs of the party are trying to hoodwink those of us aspirants from the South to commit ourselves to obtain the required forms before coming up with the original position that ‘every zone can contest the presidency.
This position is politically fraudulent, unjust and inequitable.
“But as a politician, I have come to accept the ill-defined zoning arrangement, and still forge ahead with my unrepentant call for a rotation of power to the South.I have consulted far and wide with the political stakeholders in my zone.
“I turned 70 years a few days ago, and I have made a covenant with my maker that for the rest of my life, I shall uphold this spirit and principles of our forbears as manifestly displayed and represented in our collective socio-political heritage – THE AFENIFERE.
“Two weeks ago, Pa Ayo Adebanjo called me for the first time into his bedroom and admonished me that no matter what circumstances we Yorubas find ourselves in the ever gyrating political circus of Nigeria, I must uphold the truth and follow the path of equity and justice.
I am aligning myself with the wish of our elders and in the interest of equity and justice, I publicly admit that the 2023 political race must be conceded to the South-East; that is, the Igbos.
” I, therefore, here and now proclaim that I am, as I have said publicly several times, withdrawing from the presidential race and I am declaring my support for the best aspirant not only in Igboland but in Nigeria as a whole.
“My supporters and I within and outside the PDP are teaming up with His Excellency, Peter Obi.
“At the same time, I want to enjoin all other aspirants from the South; Chief Dele Momodu, Senator Anyim, and His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike to come with me and let us team up with Peter Obi. So we can give the South the best possible chance,” he stated.